Mary, Mary

Penelope Chai, Adam Spellicy

Feature film

Years after a plague kills every woman on Earth, the world is repopulated with identical, submissive female clones. Now, one of them wants her independence…


In the walled city of Arcadia, the female population is comprised exclusively of identical Clones, created by biotech company NewGen and trained to be subservient wives to their aging husbands. One such Clone, Mary (29) works at a finishing school for younger Clones, tutoring them in the doctrine of Mother …

About Penelope Chai

Penelope is an award-winner writer who writes across different genres including drama, comedy-drama, action-adventure and science fiction. Her produced credits include Other People’s Problems (2017 ABC series co-written with Jane Dickenson; Series Mania, Berlin International Film Festival), She was She (short film; MIFF 2014, AWGIE nominated) and Love & Fury (2013 ABC documentary co-written with John Hughes; AWGIE nominated).

Cinderella Must Die, an action-adventure she co-wrote with Matteo R. Bernardini, won the Australians in Film Gateway LA Screenwriting Fellowship (2017) and the Script Pipeline Grand Prize (2016). Mary, Mary, a dystopian sci-fi co-written with Adam Spellicy, won the Monte Miller AWGIE Award for Best Unproduced Screenplay (2016) and the John Hinde Award for Excellence in Science Fiction Writing for Best Unproduced Screenplay (2015).

Penelope is a recipient of a City of Yarra Arts Residency for The Punt Road Project (2014) and a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship (2013), and was part of Film Victoria’s Catapult Lab (2012). Her short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies, and she’s twice been shortlisted for the City of Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Award.

She is currently collaborating with writer/director Corrie Chen on Empty Empire, a feature film set in an ‘empty’ city inspired by Ordos in China, as well as writing a feature screenplay called No More Nice Girls, about a real-life feminist protest at the Ladies Home Journal, and completing a Film Victoria Writers Placement on Season 4 of Nowhere Boys (Matchbox/ABC).

About Adam Spellicy

Adam Spellicy is a screenwriter based in Melbourne. Born in Adelaide, South Australia, he spent his formative years in the New South Wales mining town of Broken Hill, where Wake In Fright was filmed (and which was every bit as frightening as its filmic alter-ego “Bundanyabba”). He credits that experience with his enduring fascination for dark, mysterious stories.

Adam spent the better part of two decades as (variously) a graphic designer, advertising copywriter, musician and music video director before becoming a filmmaker. He has written and directed three short films: The Body Watchers (2009), Mystic Eyes (2009) and Keeper (2011), all of which have screened at local and international film festivals.

In 2016, Adam won the AWG’s Monte Miller (Long Form) Award and John Hinde Award For Best Unproduced Science Fiction Screenplay for the dystopian sci-fi feature script Mary, Mary, an honour he shared with co-writer Penelope Chai. The project was developed with funding from Screen Australia.

An early draft of his feature screenplay Race With The Devil, a biopic based on the life of 1950s rock and roll singer Gene Vincent, won 2nd Prize in the 2004 Nashville Screenwriters Conference script competition. In 2017, the project received development funding from Scripted Ink and was awarded RMIT’s McCraith House Residency courtesy of AWG Pathways and Film Victoria.

Adam’s latest short screenplay We’re Not Here completed principal photography in Mexico in late 2018. Directed by Bonnie Moir, it stars Benjamin Rigby and Pekka Strang and was Executive Produced by John Logan (screenwriter of GladiatorHugoThe Aviator and Alien: Covenant). Another short screenplay, The Bends, is currently in production, directed by Exit Films’ Tom Campbell with whom Adam is also developing a supernatural horror feature, Murder Ballad.

Other projects on Adam’s slate include a television adaptation of Anson Cameron’s novel The Last Pulse and a conspiracy thriller miniseries, Buladjang, both developed with producer Trevor Blainey.

Penelope Chai Screenwriter
Penelope Chai
Australian Screenwriter Adam Spellicy
Adam Spellicy